It has grown apparent to NASA scientists, if human beings are ever going to colonize the Moon or Mars, it begins with the vital production of water and oxygen. Mars, a planet rich with carbon-dioxide has the potential to reform its volatile atmosphere to a life-sustaining, earth-like atmosphere. The Moon’s surface will be tested for traces of oxygen and hydrogen in aspiration to forming water, a project closer in proximity and lower in cost.
NASA is forging ahead with plans to make water, oxygen, and hydrogen on the surface of the Moon and Mars. If we ever want to colonize other planets, it is vital that we find a way of extracting these vital gases and liquids from moons and planets, rather than transporting them from Earth (which is prohibitively expensive, due to Earth’s gravity). The current plan is to land a rover on the Moon in 2018 that will try to extract hydrogen, water, and oxygen — and then hopefully, Curiosity’s successor will try to convert the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into oxygen in 2020 when it lands on Mars.